From Polyglot Club WIKI
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This lesson can still be improved. EDIT IT NOW! & become VIP
Rate this lesson:
(0 votes)

◀️ The past tense and other verb forms — Previous Lesson Next Lesson — Using public transport ▶️

Standard LatvianVocabulary0 to A1 Course → Going shopping and using public transport → Buying groceries and household items

Introduction: In this lesson, we will focus on an essential aspect of daily life: buying groceries and household items. Being able to navigate a supermarket or a convenience store is a practical skill that will greatly enhance your experience living in Latvia. Not only will you learn how to name various products, but you will also gain valuable knowledge about cultural practices and regional variations in shopping habits. By the end of this lesson, you will feel confident in your ability to communicate your shopping needs in Standard Latvian.

Structure of the Lesson: 1. Vocabulary: We will start by introducing a wide range of vocabulary related to groceries and household items. You will learn the names of common food products, cleaning supplies, and other essentials found in Latvian stores. 2. Grammar: Next, we will explore the grammatical aspects of shopping and using public transport. You will learn how to form sentences to express your shopping needs and preferences, as well as how to ask for assistance in a store or on public transportation. 3. Cultural Insights: Throughout the lesson, we will delve into the cultural significance of shopping in Latvia. We will discuss regional variations in shopping habits, traditional Latvian foods, and interesting anecdotes related to grocery shopping in Latvia. 4. Exercises: To reinforce your learning, we will provide a series of exercises and practice scenarios. You will have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in real-life situations and test your comprehension of the vocabulary and grammar concepts covered. 5. Solutions and Explanations: At the end of the lesson, we will provide solutions and explanations for the exercises, allowing you to self-assess your progress and address any questions or difficulties you may have encountered.


Let's begin by building your vocabulary related to buying groceries and household items. Here are some essential words and phrases to get you started:


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English Translation
maize m[a:][i:]-z[e] bread
piena produkti p[i:]-e-n[a] pr[o]d[u]k-t[i:] dairy products
gaļa g[a:][u]l[a] meat
dārzeņi d[a:][r]z[e:]-[ɲ][i:] vegetables
augļi a[u]-[ɣ][ɬ][i:] fruits
saldumi s[a]l-d[u]-m[i:] sweets
dzērieni dz[e:]-[r]i:[i:]-[ɲ][i:] beverages
makaroni m[a]-k[a]-r[o]-n[i:] pasta
eļļa e[l][j][a] oil
cukurs ts[u]-k[u]rs sugar
sāls sa:ls salt
garšvielas g[a]-r[ʃ]v[i:]-[ɲ][i:] spices
konservi k[o]-n[s][e:]r-v[i:] canned food
milti m[i]l-t[i:] flour
cepumi ts[e]-p[u]-m[i:] cookies
sviests sv[i:]-sts butter
kafija k[a]-f[i:]-y[a] coffee
tēja t[e:][j]a tea
alus a-l[u]s beer

Household Items:

Standard Latvian Pronunciation English Translation
ziepes ts[i:]-[e]-p[e]s soap
tualetes papīrs t[u]-a-l[e]t[e]s p[a]-p[i:]rs toilet paper
šampūns [ʃ][a]m-p[u:]ns shampoo
skābeņi sk[a]-b[e][ɲ]i vinegar
dzeramā ūdens ts[e]-r[a]-m[a:] [u:]-[u]d[e]ns drinking water
tīrīšanas līdzeklis t[i:]-[r][i:]-[ʃ][a]-n[a]s l[i:]-[d][z][e]-kl[i:]s cleaning agent
veļas mazgājamās mašīnas tabletes v[e]-[ɬ][a]s m[a]-zg[a]:-j[a]-m[a:s] m[a]-[ʒ][i:]-n[a:s] t[a]-bl[e]-t[e]s laundry detergent tablets
dvielis dv[i:]-[e]-l[i]s towel
spilvens sp[i]l-v[e]ns pillow
segu komplekts s[e]-g[u] k[o]-m[p][l][e]-kts bedding set
trauki tr[a]-[ʊ]k[i:] dishes
dakšas d[a]-k-[ʃ][a]s spoons
nazis n[a]-z[i]s knife
dakšiņas d[a]-k-[ʃ][i:]-[ɲ][a]s forks
glāzes gl[a]-[ʒ][e]s glasses
trauku mazgājamā mašīna tr[a]-[ʊ]k-[ʊ] m[a]-zg[a]:-j[a]-m[a] m[a]-[ʃ][i:]-n[a] dishwasher
ledusskapis l[e]-d[u]s-k[a]-p[i]s refrigerator
cepeškrāsns ts[e]-p[e]ʃ-kr[a]-sns oven
mikroviļņu krāsns m[i]-kr[o]-v[i]ʎ-[ɲ][u] kr[a]-sns microwave oven

Now that you have expanded your vocabulary, let's move on to the grammar section to learn how to construct sentences related to shopping and using public transport.


1. Expressing Shopping Needs: When shopping for groceries or household items, it is important to be able to express your needs clearly. Here are some useful sentence structures:

- "Es vēlētos pirkt _____." (I would like to buy _____.) - "Vai jums ir _____?" (Do you have _____?) - "Cik maksā _____?" (How much does _____ cost?) - "Es gribētu _____." (I would like _____.) - "Es nepieciešu _____." (I need _____.)

Example sentences: - "Es vēlētos pirkt miltus." (I would like to buy flour.) - "Vai jums ir sviests?" (Do you have butter?) - "Cik maksā šīs dārzeņu?" (How much do these vegetables cost?) - "Es gribētu kafiju." (I would like coffee.) - "Es nepieciešu ziepes." (I need soap.)

2. Asking for Assistance: When shopping, you may need to ask for assistance or clarification. Here are some useful phrases for seeking help:

- "Vai jūs varētu man palīdzēt?" (Could you help me?) - "Kur es varu atrast _____?" (Where can I find _____?) - "Kas ir _____?" (What is _____?) - "Kā tas darbojas?" (How does it work?) - "Vai jūs varētu man pateikt, kur ir tualetes?" (Could you tell me where the toilets are?)

Example sentences: - "Vai jūs varētu man palīdzēt ar šo?" (Could you help me with this?) - "Kur es varu atrast piena produktus?" (Where can I find dairy products?) - "Kas ir šis dzēriens?" (What is this beverage?) - "Kā šis darbojas?" (How does this work?) - "Vai jūs varētu man pateikt, kur ir tualetes papīrs?" (Could you tell me where the toilet paper is?)

Now that you have learned some essential grammar structures, let's explore the cultural aspects of shopping in Latvia.

Cultural Insights:

Shopping in Latvia is a significant part of daily life, and it reflects the country's culinary traditions and regional variations. Here are some cultural insights to enhance your understanding of shopping in Latvia:

1. Regional Variations: Latvia has distinct regional variations in food preferences and shopping habits. For example, in the coastal regions, seafood is a popular choice, while in the inland regions, meat dishes are more common. Additionally, certain food products, such as rye bread and cottage cheese, are considered staples in Latvian cuisine and can be found in every grocery store across the country.

2. Traditional Latvian Foods: When shopping in Latvia, you will come across traditional Latvian foods that hold cultural significance. Some examples include "pīrāgi" (bacon-filled pastries), "rūgtais mērce" (sour cream sauce), and "skābputra" (fermented cereal). These traditional dishes have been passed down through generations and are still enjoyed by Latvians today.

3. Farmer's Markets: In addition to supermarkets and convenience stores, Latvia is also known for its vibrant farmer's markets. These markets offer locally grown produce, homemade products, and traditional Latvian specialties. Visiting a farmer's market is not only a shopping experience but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the friendly vendors.

4. Seasonal Foods: Latvians have a strong connection to the changing seasons, and this is reflected in their shopping habits. Seasonal foods, such as strawberries in the summer and mushrooms in the autumn, are eagerly anticipated and enjoyed. Farmers often set up roadside stands to sell their freshly harvested produce, providing an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to experience the freshest flavors of the season.


Now it's time to put your knowledge into practice with some exercises. Take your time to complete each exercise, and refer back to the vocabulary and grammar sections as needed. When you're ready, you can check your answers against the provided solutions and explanations.

Exercise 1: Vocabulary Match the Latvian words with their English translations. 1. maize 2. dzērieni 3. skābeņi 4. sviests 5. mikroviļņu krāsns

Exercise 2: Grammar Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb or the missing word. 1. Es ______ pirkt miltus. 2. Vai jums ______ šampūnu? 3. Cik ______ šīs dārzeņu? 4. Es gribētu ______ kafiju. 5. Vai jūs varētu man ______, kur ir tualetes?

Solutions and Explanations:

Exercise 1: Vocabulary 1. maize - bread 2. dzērieni - beverages 3. skābeņi - vinegar 4. sviests - butter 5. mikroviļņu krāsns - microwave oven

Exercise 2: Grammar 1. Es vēlētos pirkt miltus. (I would like to buy flour.) 2. Vai jums ir šampūnu? (Do you have shampoo?) 3. Cik maksā šīs dārzeņu? (How much do these vegetables cost?) 4. Es gribētu kafiju. (I would like coffee.) 5. Vai jūs varētu man pateikt, kur ir tualetes? (Could you tell me where the toilets are?)

Congratulations! You have completed the exercises and successfully expanded your knowledge of buying groceries and household items in Standard Latvian. Take some time to review the solutions and explanations before moving on to the next lesson.

Table of Contents - Standard Latvian Course - 0 to A1[edit source]

Introduction to Latvian grammar

Daily life and routines

Latvian traditions and customs

Verbs and tenses

Going shopping and using public transport

Latvian geography and landmarks

Adverbs and prepositions

Leisure activities and hobbies

Latvian arts and museums

The accusative case and indirect objects

Education and employment

Latvian history and politics

Conditional and subjunctive mood

Travel and tourism

Latvian culture and identity

The genitive and possessive forms

Health and wellness

Latvian sports and outdoor activities

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]

◀️ The past tense and other verb forms — Previous Lesson Next Lesson — Using public transport ▶️


Maintenance script

Create a new Lesson